Very little is known about the details of Mamadou Sakho testing positive for a banned substance after a Europa League match against Manchester United back in March. In the absence of more information, pundits have been offering up opinions on Sakho's situation, with Phil Thompson becoming the second ex-Liverpool defender after Jamie Carragher to share his feelings on the subject.
"I think the big thing for Liverpool as a whole is that it could be disruptive to all the positive vibes that have been around the team and you could do without it," Thompson said, correctly recognizing that it's kind of a downer when one of your key players fails a drugs test. "It's taking the focus away from what has been achieved and Klopp has got to try and regroup the players in mind and body, but he's absolutely the right man for it."
"In footballing terms, Sakho will be a big miss. He's had his ups and downs but I think everybody has responded to his passion and commitment when it comes to defending and his influence has been massive. It will be a big loss but I think it gives Skrtel a chance to get back in the side, potentially until the end of the season if it goes badly for Sakho."
Thompson's assessment is a bit optimistic in light of Sakho's choice to accept the failed drugs test, with Sakho at best missing the rest of the season and at worst facing a ban of up to two years. Whether it's an out of favour Martin Skrtel, a shoehorned Lucas Leiva, or an aging Kolo Toure who slots in at centre back next to surprising defensive stalwart Dejan Lovren remains to be seen, but Sakho's loss is someone else's gain and Liverpool fans will hope that the player stepping in can step up to the challenge.